The first challenge, once your video has been completed, is getting people to watch it. The second challenge is getting the viewer to take the action in the video. Often, when I think about calls to action in a video, my mind instantly runs to all the annoying TV commercials that I have seen. “2 for the price of 1!” “And that’s not all! If you buy now, I will personally come to your home and wash your dog!”
Extreme examples aside, I think that every video should encourage the viewer to take action. The message can be strong: ‘buy now!’ or it can be as subtle as having a website address on the screen. You can also ask a question and invite the viewer to be part of the conversation. You can have them: enter to win or even do a free trial sign up for a webinar. There are three types of calls to action, or CTA, that you can use in a video: auditory, text, and buttons.
Calls to action are not always about having the viewer buy a product or service right then and there. Your CTA might be to get them to visit your website or to download something like a whitepaper, or even to watch another video. Remember, people like to do their own research before they talk to a sales person. You need to lead the viewer on a journey that will lead them to your ultimate goal of buying your product or service. It is important to have a way to capture the information of people watching your videos so you can better nurture them until they are ready to buy from you.
Keep it simple
One way of making your calls to action simpler is by using an interactive video player. This is a fancy way of saying that you can put clickable links in your videos. Those links can even be a phone number that allows people to call you right from the video. Video player technology also allows you to include pop-out calls to action or to embed contact forms at the end of the video in the video player.
Make your CTA visually appealing. A lot of video players don’t give you a lot of options but you can get creative with what you have. Use text that is actionable, such as Register or Download. Also, use words that will let them know when they need to take action like, “now, for a limited time.”
YouTube has cards and end cards to help you create CTA on their site. This move to cards is a big deal because the old system of annotations wasn’t mobile friendly and since over half of all video views are on mobile devices, it is important for your CTA to be able to work on the devices your viewers are using.
Often times, the first step with YouTube is to get the viewer to your own website. There are too many things on YouTube that can distract a viewer for getting to your end goal. In addition to visual CTA, you should also give auditory CTAs to reinforce what is on the screen.
When should you add your CTA?
Be careful not to turn off a viewer by offering a strong CTA too early in their journey. Instead, give them time to get to know you. By giving a CTA too early, it might come off as being pushy. If you are worried about being too pushy, you can try something like: “learn more” or “get started.”
Be careful not to put your CTA at the beginning of your video. Offering a CTA too early in a video might not give the viewer enough time to get to know enough about you. They might be clicking by mistake or out of boredom. Placing your call to action at the end of your video is better because once clicked, it is a clear indication that the viewer is interested in what you have to offer. The only problem is that, if they don’t make it to the end of the video, they will never see the call to action.
You can also place your CTA in the middle of your video. This is a good option for longer content. If you’ve convinced them at the halfway point, they may not need to see the rest of the video. This is why you need to make sure your video keeps them engaged. Keep your CTA between 2 and 5 words. Too many words will make it harder for the viewer to click.